I know a lot of people dont want to hear that but it's true. The Ravens knew and I said this early in the week in another thread that they could not afford to lose 2 division games in the first 4 weeks on the road to both the Bengals and the Steelers. I said this as well that had the Ravens lost and dropped to 2-2 and 1-2 in the division having lost already to the Bengals and the Steelers it would have been very very tough for them to make up that deficit as the season went on. It was essentially a 2 game swing for the Ravens on Sunday because had they lost they would have been 2 full games behind the Steelers and also losing the first head to head tiebraker, and instead a win puts them even with the Steelers at 3-1 and gives them first head to head tiebraker over the Steelers in the division.
This loss really hurts the Steelers more so seeing that the Bengals lost to the Browns and dropped to 2-2. Had the Steelers won they would have been 4-0 without Ben and would have been in total control of the AFC North I believe for the remainder of the season having a comfortable 2 game lead on both the Bengals and the Ravens 4 games into the season without having Ben yet to take a single snap. But it didnt work out that was unfortunately and now for the time being the Ravens have that first tiebraker in hand for now in the division and as long as they stay even with the Steelers record wise until they meet again in Baltimore on December 5th they will remain in first place. That's why this loss while there is still a ton of football left was so big. Because of this now to the Ravens the Steelers really cannot afford to drop another game in the division for pretty much of the rest of the season. The Ravens have already played 3 division games and are 2-1 in the North and still get to play both the Bengals and the Steelers in Baltimore. The Steelers still have 5 games left in the North and still have to go on the road to Cincy,Baltimore,and Cleveland.
It really now leaves the Steelers no margin for error to lose anymore games in the division because the Ravens already have beaten them once and own that tiebraker and are in good shape to own the division record tiebraker as long as they win the rest of their games. That's why yesterdays loss was so critical because the Steelers really blew a chance to control their own destiny in the AFC North for the remainder of the season. That's why I said Baltimore seemed more desperate and seem to play with more urgency and needed this game just a little bit more then the Steelers because they knew they had to even the Steelers up at 3-1 and not go down to 2-2 and have the Steelers be 4-0.